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Sharky's Machine (1981)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  18 December 1981 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 3,203 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 18 critic

Tom Sharky is a narcotics cop in Atlanta who's demoted to vice after a botched bust. In the depths of this lowly division, while investigating a high-dollar prostitution ring, Sharky ... See full summary »

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Title: Sharky's Machine (1981)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Victor Scorelli
...
Papa
...
Lt. Friscoe
...
Donald Hotchkins
...
Arch
...
Billy Score
...
Nosh
...
Smiley
...
...
Joe Tipps
...
Mabel
Hari Rhodes ...
Highball Mary
...
Barrett
James O'Connell ...
Twigs
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Storyline

Tom Sharky is a narcotics cop in Atlanta who's demoted to vice after a botched bust. In the depths of this lowly division, while investigating a high-dollar prostitution ring, Sharky stumbles across a mob murder with government ties, and responds by assembling his downtrodden fellow investigators (Sharky's "machine") to find the leaders and bring them to justice before they kill off all his partners and witnesses, including Sharky himself. Written by Unknown

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody leans on Sharky's Machine. [Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brigada Anti-Crime  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Clint Eastwood made the comedy Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Burt Reynolds reportedly said to him, "Clint, you're getting into my territory [comedy], and if it's a success, I'm going out and make 'Dirty Harry Goes to Atlanta'!". When Sharky's Machine (1981) went into production, Eastwood sent a telegram to Reynolds saying, "You really weren't kidding, were you?" Reynolds has described this movie as 'Dirty Harry Goes to Atlanta' whilst many reviewers and critics have likened it to the 'Dirty Harry' franchise. See more »

Goofs

When Billy Score shoots his first victims his gun has a silencer mounted on the barrel. We still hear "boom, boom" anyway. One shot is even heard from a POV outside the apartment where the killings are occurring. See more »

Quotes

Sharky: You all right, partner?
Arch: Of course not, you asshole. I'm shot!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le marginal (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere, Someway (Love Theme)
Performed by Sarah Vaughan
Written by Cliff Crofford (as C. Crofford), John Durrill (as J. Durrill), Bobby Troup (as B. Troup) & Snuff Garrett (as S. Garrett)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is Sharky's city!
30 August 2009 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

This was one of those films I would always come across (be it on TV or cheap DVD), but never struck me to give it a shot as I thought I wasn't missing out on much. It was on one night and I thought oh well… why not. A good decision too, as I would kick myself for taking so long to get around to it. For me it left me impressed, as it's up there with Burt Reynold's best features ('Deliverance', 'White Lightning' and 'Boogie Nights') and streams back to those 70s/80s gritty, hardboiled urban crime thrillers that weren't afraid to be forebodingly obscure and go out of their way to set-up characters, pack-it with realistically brutal force and effectively incorporate the local locations (Atlanta being the case here) to the fold with grounded photography. In certain shades it kind of reminded me of 'Dirty Harry', but that's loosely. However it's saucily honed blues score with its simmering kicks, funky shifts and unhinged sounds, very much had me thinking of Lalo Schifrin's pulsating score he orchestrated for 'Dirty Harry'. The music soundtrack on the other hand is hit or miss.

Sgt. Tom Sharky was an Atlantic narcotic agent before a slip-out during a bust saw him demoted to vice work. Along with his new squad they come across a prostitution ring, which catches their interest due to fact it's owned by one hard-to-track and to convict crime lord. What they dig up involves a prominent government figure and a call-girl which can give them some important names, but they must get to her before she's made a target.

Burt Reynold's acts, but also directs in an unyieldingly firm and muscular fashion which would suit his laconically hard-nosed performance and Gerald Di Pego's thematically hard-bitten and taut screenplay (that was adapted from William Diehl's novel). Well he does show some sort of heart/insightful thoughts amongst that armor within the scenes involving the fetchingly able British actress Rachel Ward, be it the stake-out scenes when he's watching her from another building (and slowly becoming infatuated by her) to when they finally come together, but these latter interactions mid-way through do slow up the momentum but give it noir like strokes. The performances are fairly spot on with Reynold's formulating a great rapport with exceptional actors Charles Durning, Earl Holliman, Brian Keith, Richard Libertini and Bernie Casey. The scathing profanity and witty dialogues between these guys were a blast. As for the corrupt villains, Vittorio Gassman builds imposing strength and power, but it's Henry Silva (who seems born for these roles) icily cunning and unstoppable turn that makes the show. Where his appearance seems to outline things to come and help them fall into place. Plus his adrenaline-filled and violent cat and mouse climax with Sharky and his team is brilliantly done.

The exciting action passages might be quick and dry, but remain lethally violent like an immensely teeth-grinding interrogation sequence. Some handy, old fashion filming techniques add to the suspense. The intriguing material keeps it quite tactical being character derived, but when we think its smooth sailing it offers up a blunt surprise or two along with some intensely brunt confrontations.


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